Been there, done it again for Dan Christian

Daniel Christian pulls off a terrific lofted six Getty Images

There's not much Dan Christian hasn't seen in T20 cricket. In fact, his nickname is Siri, such is his encyclopaedic knowledge of the game.

In 273 matches all around the globe he has walked to the crease 233 times. Three times this season he had guided his side home in chases. So when he entered Docklands Stadium with the Melbourne Renegades needing 49 from 30 balls with five wickets in hand in a BBL semi-final against the Sydney Sixers, it was just another day at the office for Christian.

And when you read that Christian made 31 not out from 14 balls and the Renegades won with a ball to spare, you are not really surprised.

"I was pretty confident," Christian said."The boys had done a pretty good job leading up to then to keep the rate around nine [runs per over] and I think it snuck up to 11 or 12 at one stage but it never really got out of hand. I was pretty confident."

Even when he lost captain Aaron Finch four balls after arriving in the middle, with equation changing to 48 from 26, Christian didn't panic.But Sixers captain Moises Henriques did.

"When Finchy got out I was quite relieved, and then I realised that DC was coming in," Henriques said. "The couple of balls that DC popped over cover for six, he's pretty special like that, where you just miss a yorker a little bit and give a little bit more width than you were hoping, a lot of other guys are munging that down the ground for one and he's just...they're pretty incredible cricket shots."

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The equation reached 33 from 15 balls after Mickey Edwards delivered a superb 17th over. Christian, 6 not out from six balls, then seized on a missed yorker from Ben Dwarshuis, nailing it over cover into the crowd.

His ability not to panic, to wait for the ball he wants, is the legacy of his extraordinary history of winning in professional T20 tournaments. He had played 10 championship finals prior to tonight, winning six titles. A high-pressure semi-final chase was achieved on auto-pilot.

"Generally, you don't want to leave too much to the last over," Christian said."Sometimes you can't do much about it if they bowl a really good over but I was really targeting Abbott's over to try and get as many as I could off that and make it a bit easier in that last over. Luckily, he missed a couple of yorkers and I was able to get them out of the middle of the bat.

"By that stage you're just watching the ball and hoping that they miss their length regardless of what pace it is."

Sean Abbott missed first ball of the 19th over and Christian swiped him flat and just wide of the flying Jack Edwards at long-on for six. Abbott got his length further up next ball and Christian didn't get the elevation, but Edwards couldn't hold onto the hot low chance running in off the long on rope. The game literally slipped through the young man's fingers.

Four balls later it was all but over, Christian again carved a missed yorker into the stands over cover. The equation of 33 off 15 was reduced to 7 off 6, courtesy off a cool head and fast hands.

Even when Cameron Boyce trod on his stumps on the first ball of the last over Christian knew the game was in safe keeping.

"When you need seven in an over it's one good shot and Richo [Kane Richardson] got it on the second ball over backward point after Boycey got out. It was pretty comfortable. We were home and hosed by that stage."

The last of his 10 finals came just two months ago when his Jozi Stars won the Mzansi Super League in South Africa. The Renegades will play in their first BBL final on Sunday when they host cross-town rivals the Melbourne Stars. Christian's advice for his team-mates was simple.

"I think just try to treat it like any other game," Christian said. "I know that sounds really cliche but that's sort of the way you've got to do it. If you get caught up in the hullabaloo and the extra media that we're going to have around the game and the bigger crowd and all that stuff I think you get caught up in it and not focus on what got you there in the first place. I'm sure a lot of our guys will be pretty toey and pretty keen to get out there and play really well. As long as we can stay as level as possible and do the good things that have helped us get to the final, I think we should be okay."

They say you can't buy experience. But the Renegades got a bargain in Dan Christian.